Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Five Things I Learned from Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project"

About a month ago I read the book The Happiness Project.

This book chronicles the author's one year quest to find happiness in her own, everyday life. She didn't sell all of her belongings, move to Africa, or buy a one way ticket to Iceland -- she found small ways to enrich her current life, in order to bring about more happiness. Every month she focused on a different area of her life and completed a few goals within each area.

If you haven't noticed, I am kind of on some strange minimalist kick, with the major purge of my closet, and my capsule wardrobe, so this book was right up my alley.

I really resonated with the author, as Gretchen Rubin was an attorney (prior to quitting her big firm job to pursue writing full time), is a Type A overachiever, and struggled with understanding what made her happy. I completely related to the entirety of this book!

Just so we are clear -- I am not unhappy by any means, but I do think, prior to reading this book, I wasn't aware of what made me happy, nor had I given much thought as to how to achieve happiness. I kind of thought happiness would come my way and then I would experience it.

While I am still working on figuring out ways to bring happiness into my own, everyday life, I did learn five valuable lessons from The Happiness Project!

1. The One Minute Rule

If a task can be completed in one minute or less, complete it right away!

For me, this means hanging up my suit when I come home from the office, taking the recycling to the garage, and throwing away the junk mail, instead of leaving it on the counter -- all tasks that can be completed in less than 60 seconds.

This little rule has helped keep my house more organized and clutter free -- which makes both me and Hubby, very happy!

2. Spend Out

Use the stuff you have and don't save things for that "one day," because that day may never come. 

For me, this means using the fine china for a frozen pizza dinner, wearing my lacy lingerie for no reason, and writing notes on my fancy stationary just to say hello.

You can't take your stuff with you when you are gone, so use it or lose it!

3. Outer Order Contributes to Inner Calm

Your surroundings (desk, bedroom, kitchen, car, etc). need to be organized in order for you to achieve inner calmness. 

For me, this means keeping my desk clean. I am 110% more productive at work if my desk is clear of clutter and I am much more calm when it comes to my job. I am less frazzled, I am nicer, and I am slower to have a major freak out!

It also means keeping my closet organized. I have found that I am much more content with the clothes I own, when they are displayed in an orderly fashion. That is why shopping is so appealing -- the stores are clean, neat, and there aren't clothes and shoes scattered about. 

I have started making sure my desk is clean when I leave the office, so I can ensure that I will have a successful and calm morning the next day. I am also making a high effort to keep my closet clean. I did a major closet purge when I completed my Capsule Wardrobe and I am trying so hard to keep it clean!

4. Find Happiness Under Your Own Roof

You don't need to completely alter every facet of your life in order to find happiness -- it is there -- in your everyday life. You just have to look. 

For me, this means not just appreciating, but cherishing the every day things and making them feel special and investing my time into the relationships that I already have, and loving the things I already have. 

5. Engage in a Modest Splurge

Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you something that makes your life easier. Trying to lose weight? Buy yourself a gym membership. 

My modest splurge is Blue Apron. I hate to menu plan and cook. I never know what to cook for dinner and I'm not very good at cooking in general. Blue Apron has been the answer to my dilemma. Every week I receive a box with all the ingredients to make three meals. The recipes are delicious and different every week. I can even skip weeks when we are out of town. This service has made my life easier and to me, is worth every penny!

Has anyone else read The Happiness Project? What were your thoughts? If you haven't read it, I would highly recommend it!



  1. This book has been on my need to read list for so long. Your key takeaways has got me inspired to read it!

    xo Jen
    Skirt The Rules

    1. Yes Jen! It is great! You're going to love it!

  2. I heard about this book the other day, and the way the person described it I was thinking a "do this, wake up early, do this and this" type of thing, which when I hear "wake up early" it's immediately a no-go for me. However, reading this, I am definitely buying a copy!

    1. Hi Tori! The author has two books out -- "The Happiness Project" and "Better than Before." The latter is about habits, which sounds more like what the person described to you. The "Happiness Project" was so good -- I highly recommend it!